Fantasy Football Target Trends for Week 2

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Welcome to the target trends article for Week 2! With the second week of NFL games in the books, we can start to examine multi-week trends. As the season goes on, we’ll be able to identify stronger and more reliable trends.

After two weeks, Darren Waller leads all NFL players with 26 targets. Most of those targets, 19 to be exact, came in Week 1, leaving something to be desired after his seven targets in Week 2. CeeDee Lamb leads all wideouts with 24 on the season, and his teammate Amari Cooper isn’t far behind with 22. Christian McCaffrey headed into Monday night as the target leader among running backs with 15, but after D’Andre Swift saw five targets against the Packers to close out the week, he heads into Week 3 as the leader with 16 on the season.

But enough about the season-long leaders, let’s take a look at the most telling target performances from Week 2. 

Terry McLaurin: 14 targets, 11 rec

McLaurin is the target champion of Week 2 after Taylor Heinicke threw the ball his way 14 times on Thursday night. That’s a huge increase from the disappointing four targets he saw in Week 1. It was just one game, but if Heinicke stays locked on to McLaurin, he should surpass the 134 targets he saw last season.

Brandin Cooks: 14 targets, 9 rec

Cooks and his 14 targets tied McLaurin atop the Week 2 target leaderboard. That equated to a 50% target share against the Browns Sunday and nobody else for Houston saw more than two targets in the game. Cooks has been targeted 21 times through the first two weeks, while Danny Amendola, David Johnson, and Pharaoh Brown are tied for second on the team with just six targets each. 

Diontae Johnson: 12 targets, 9 rec

If you go back to last season, Johnson has now seen double-digit targets in 12 of his last 14 full games played. He’s been targeted 22 times in two games this season and has not recorded a single drop, ostensibly putting that problem from last season behind him. Unfortunately, he suffered an apparent knee injury in the closing seconds of the game Sunday, something that fantasy managers will need to monitor.

Courtland Sutton: 12 targets, 9 rec

Now that Jerry Jeudy is on the sideline from the ugly ankle injury he suffered in Week 1, Sutton stepped up in a big way for Week 2. His career-high 12 targets were twice as many as the next most targeted Bronco, Noah Fant. He looks full speed and primed to pile up fantasy points for the managers that took the shot on him in drafts.

Michael Pittman: 12 targets, 8 rec

After seeing just four targets in Week 1, Pittman was probably on a lot on fantasy benches this week, including mine. It was a different story in Week 2, as his career-high 12 targets translated to a 35% target share. The second-year wideout looks set to be the focal point of the Colts’ passing offense, though that could be less appealing with Carson Wentz’s health in question.

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Cooper Kupp: 11 targets, 9 rec

Kupp has seen double-digit targets in each of the first two weeks. Perhaps more impressively, he’s seen exactly a 38% target share each week. There’s a strong connection building between Kupp and his new breakfast-mate/quarterback Matthew Stafford. So far, it’s led to Kupp producing more fantasy points than any other receiver in the NFL through the first two weeks.

Braxton Berrios: 11 targets, 7 rec

The Jets’ leading wide receiver is currently Braxton Berrios, just like everyone expected. He’s seen 18 targets through the first two games, six more than Corey Davis and Elijah Moore and the same amount as Calvin Ridley. His target share will likely decline when Jamison Crowder returns, but until then Berrios will have fantasy value in deeper PPR leagues.

Mike Williams: 10 targets, 7 rec

Willams saw just three double-digit target games over his first four seasons in the NFL. Now he’s seen at least ten targets in both games to kick off his fifth season. The 22 targets thrown his way are one more than teammate, and perpetual target hog, Keenan Allen. If Justin Herbert continues looking his way all season, Williams could be the steal of fantasy draft season.

Austin Ekeler: 9 targets, 9 rec

Sticking with the Chargers, Ekeler bounced back in a big way. He went surprisingly untargeted in Week 1, only to be the most-targeted running back of Week 2. He’s been a staple in the passing game ever since arriving in Los Angeles, and fantasy managers that drafted him in part for his work through the air can breathe a sigh of relief.

Rondale Moore: 8 targets, 7 rec

It’s no shock that Kyler Murray is spreading the ball around, but it’s a bit stunning to see Rondale Moore leading Arizona in targets. The rookie not only led the team with eight targets in Week 2, but he also leads the Cardinals with 13 on the season. That’s one more than both DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. Hopkins will almost certainly pull away as the season progresses, but Moore’s early-season utilization is a great sign for the young playmaker.  

Derrick Henry: 6 targets, 6 rec

It seems every summer we get teased by camp reports touting Henry’s increased role in the Tennessee passing game, only to get let down. This year we may finally see the Yeti unleashed through the air, at least compared to previous seasons. The six targets he saw in Week 2 were a career-high for a single game. Those six targets got him nearly 20% of the way to his career-high for an entire season, which he set at 31 last year. He could break fantasy football if he keeps up his current target pace of 85 for the season. 

Tyler Higbee: 1 target, 1 rec

Just how volatile is the tight end position? In Week 1, Higbee played 100% of the offensive snaps for the Rams and finished as the TE9 on the back of just six targets. He played every offensive snap again in Week 2, but saw just one target and finished as the TE45.

Adam Trautman: 0 targets, 0 rec

Speaking of volatile tight ends, Adam Trautman posted strong peripheral numbers in Week 1 before completely disappearing in Week 2. His six targets led the Saints in Week 1, but Jameis Winston didn’t throw the ball his way a single time in Week 2. 

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Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 0 targets, 0 rec

As The Ballers discussed on Monday’s show, it’s bizarre that Kansas City spent a first-round draft pick last year on a pass-catching running back only to not involve him in the passing game. Only time will tell if this trend turns around as the season progresses, but his 4.8% target share through two weeks is dismal at best. 

Check here for all the season-long target leaders.

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